Disney World Polynesian Resort, more formally known as the Disney World Polynesian Village, is one of the first resorts built on Walt Disney World property. To this day, it remains one of the most popular and beloved resorts onsite. Maybe it’s the tropical vibe or a chance to visit Hawaii without leaving the mainland, or perhaps it’s something more.
Here are 6 things we absolutely love about the resort. Watch the video and then keep reading for more details
1. Disney World Polynesian Resort Rooms: Larger than Average
Disney World’s Polynesian Resort has two different room categories with varying views. There are standard guest rooms, and DVC rooms.
DVC stands for “Disney Vacation Club,” and operates similarly to a timeshare program, although non-DVC members are also able to book these rooms through Disney Travel or a Disney travel agent when there is availability.
Non-DVC rooms can sleep anywhere from 2 to 8, depending on the room configuration.
- Standard room configurations include 1 king bed, 2 queen beds, 1 king bed and 1 day bed, 2 queen beds and 1 day bed.
- Suite room types include 1 King Bed and 2 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa, 1 Queen Bed and 1 Queen-Size Pull Down Bed and 1 Single Pull Down Bed with 2 showers and a kitchenette, and the bungalows contain 1 King Bed and 1 Queen Bed and 1 Queen-Size Pull Down Bed and 2 Single Pull Down Beds with 2 full bathrooms, a full kitchen, laundry area, porch and small pool.
DVC rooms are available as either studio rooms or 3-bedroom bungalows. The studio rooms sleep five with 1 queen-size bed, 1 queen-size pull-down bed, and 1 single pull-down bed.
For the sake of discussing room size, we will compare the most commonly booked rooms in the Polynesian, to the same room class in other deluxe resorts: rooms with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed.
The bungalows contain 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size bed, 1 queen-size pull-down bed, 2 single pull-down beds, to sleep up to 8. Bungalows also feature a kitchen, two full bathrooms, and a laundry area.
These standard size rooms at Disney World Polynesian Resort are 415 square feet. The only resort on property with bigger standard rooms is the Grand Floridian.
To put this in perspective, let’s compare Disney World’s Polynesian Village to some other deluxe resort rooms. Standard rooms at the Beach and Yacht Club resort come in at 380 square feet, and Animal Kingdom Lodge rooms come in at 314 square feet, about 100 square feet smaller than Polynesian rooms!
2. The Disney World Monorail Runs Around the Polynesian Village
While it is certainly exciting to see the monorail run directly through the Contemporary resort, you may find the the crowds gathering to board the monorail a bit of a disturbance. Conversational noise can rise through the mighty concourse to the nearby rooms, especially during peak meal and traveling times.
You won’t have to worry about that at Polynesian Village. Sure, you may have to walk a little bit to board the monorail, but your room experience will be quieter.
Additionally, the Polynesian is close to the Magic Kingdom, with only one stop between you and your day in the park.
Traveling from the Contemporary resort, the monorail follows the edge of the Polynesian property and stops right at the Ceremonial House (lobby,) of the resort. This means, you can easily grab a bite to eat, and directly board the monorail to MK.
An added benefit of the Polynesian resort is its proximity to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). The TTC is your gateway to Magic Kingdom, and EPCOT. Here, you can board a monorail directly to either park.
This can cut your commute to EPCOT in half. Rather than riding the resort monorail all the way around Bay Lake to the TTC, and then switching monorails to the EPCOT line, Polynesian resort guests can take the short 5-minute walk to the TTC and directly board the EPCOT monorail.
Typically, during our Disney World Polynesian Resort stays, we request a room close to the TTC, for easier park access. And, as an added bonus, that side of the resort is extremely quiet.
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3. Experience the Feel of the Tropics at Disney World Polynesian Village
Disney World’s Polynesian Resort is one of the most immersive resorts on Disney property. When you first enter the Ceremonial House, or lobby, you are immediately transported to the tropics.
Cast members adorn you with leis and show you where to find your room. As you walk down the clean pathways, you are surrounded by tropical plant life and palm trees.
The resort buildings have a Polynesian flair, and there is a pristine beach that wraps around the resort.
In the evenings, watch the nighly torch lighting and then follow the glow to the beach where you can relax on chairs and hammocks to watch the water parade or the MK fireworks.
The main pool even has a volcano themed water slide, with foliage surrounding it.
4. One of the Most Popular Disney Restaurants is Onsite
O’hana is a cult favorite Disney restaurant located right at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort. While reservations are usually a necessity, resort guests can typically get in if they’re willing to wait a little bit, or dine at nonpeak times.
O’hana serves breakfast and dinner family style. It is also a character dining restaurant, with characters returning for the morning meal beginning September 27, 2022 after a COVID hiatus.
The breakfast menu includes the O’hana Breakfast Skillet, which is a Hawaiian themed all you care to eat experience. It includes, eggs, Hawaiian ham with pineapple compote, sausage, island-style potatoes, and of course, mickey shaped waffles.
For dinner, you can expect to enjoy honey/ coriander chicken wings, pork dumplings, teriyaki beef, their famous peel and eat shrimp, grilled chicken with Polynesian inspired chimichurri sauce, the Ohana noodles, and of course, the fan favorite bread pudding. All meats are cooked over an open flame and served hot and fresh to your table.
5. Dole Whip, Anytime at Disney World Polynesian Resort
We have to admit, we may be a bit biased, but one of the best things about Disney World’s Polynesian Resort is the Dole Whip perk.
Have you ever been craving a delicious, sweet, cold Dole Whip only to see the lines in the park are wrapping around the corner? If you stay at the Polynesian, you will never have to worry about that again.
Inside the resort, purchase Dole whip anytime, with minimal, or no wait. The Polynesian resort is the only one that serves Dole Whip onsite, so grab one, and eat it relaxing by the pool. No crowds!
Pineapple Lanai is a counter service stop that serves Dole Whip soft serve in pineapple, vanilla, or swirl. They also have dole whip pineapple floats, a dole whip rum float, and many changing seasonal options as well. The small eatery can be found on the bottom floor of the lobby, right outside the back door near the main pool.
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6. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, The Most Interactive Dining Experience in Disney World
Trader Sam’s may be one of the most popular places in all of Disney World to stop by for a drink. In fact, there is almost always a wait to enter. If you are staying at Walt Disney’s Polynesian Resort, be sure to arrive early to claim your spot.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto uses your drink order to match the atmosphere to your liking. In this enchanted tiki bar, the drinks bring the magic to life.
For example, one drink order causes the volcano to erupt, another causes one of the skippers to fire a revolver in the air, and one even turns the bar into a submarine, allowing you to dive deep like the nautilus.
This tiki bar is fun for the whole family prior to 8pm. After 8 pm, the experience is 21 and over only.
Is Disney Polynesian Worth it?
Given the costs for a one-night stay, many potential guests to Disney World wonder whether the Disney Polynesian is worth it. As with most things, the answer depends on your budget and what you want to get out of your vacation.
For travelers with upscale tastes and a budget to match, the amenities and available conveniences make a stay at the Poly more than worth it. With easy park transportation, large rooms, award winning dining, and fun around every corner, the Polynesian will be a crowd pleaser for every member of your group.
But, if this isn’t your year to spurge on the Polynesian resort, consider another great resort at a great price such as Saratoga Springs or Old Key West. These resorts offer a lot of the same amenities at a lower cost than the Polynesian.
For slimmer budgets, Port Orleans or Caribbean Beach Resort may lack a couple perks of the deluxe resorts, but they offer a great bang for your buck, and are equally as immersive.
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